"P" 1899-606



Hon. Commissioner
of Indian Affair.


I have the honor to transmit, herewith, a copy of
a letter and a report made by Special Agent Frank Grygla,
Juneau, Alaska, under date of December 23, 1898, of a meeting
held December 14, 1898, of certain Chiefs of the Alaska tribe
of Indians "better known as Thlingit tribe", in the presence
of and with the assistance of the Hon. John G. Brady, Governor
of Alaska.

The letter and report treating of matters directly
within the jurisdiction of your department are submitted for
such consideration and action as you may deem proper.

Very respectfully,
R? Hermann


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Chief Kah-du-shan, ftom Wrangel: -


Long time ago before the

white people came to this country, Thlingit had laws and at every

village there was a chief, some villages two or three chiefs.

Now around Wrangel [Wrangell] we have names of different mountains, different

creeks, bays, points, all have names. Around Taku the Thlingit

gave names in different points, islands, mountains, as well as

Chilkat and other places. Three principal rivers in this country

through which the natives of the country would go into interior are

Stickeen River, Taku River and Chilkat River. The Sitka Thlingit

as well as Hoonah and they go to Yakutat. Ever since I have

been a boy I have heard the names of different points, bays, islands,

mountains; places where Thlingit get herring, hunting and make

camps, that is why I think this country belongs to us.

Long, tong time ago before white people came to this country

our people lived here are certain places where they went hunting and


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fishing. When the Russians were here they did not have any stores

in the interior but they used to Trade with our people here (means

on the coast). I was a boy when this country was purchased and

soldiers came here to Wrangel and to Sitka. There was a captain

by name of Smith who told us that Americans had purchased this

country. Then the business men followed the soldiers. They

commenced to trade with our people. Our people did not object;

did not say any thing to them. By and by they began to build

canneries and take the creeks away from us, where they make sal-

mon and when we told them these creeks belonged to us, they would

not pay any attention to us and said all this country belonged

to President, the big chief at Washington.

We have places where we used to trap furs; now the white man

get up on these grounds. They tell us that they are hunting for

gold, but the judges and governor tells them to took for gold.

We know that the while people get lots of gold [struck through] money out of these 

places as well as out of the Yukon River. Here at this place

as well as other places they take our property, take away ground,

and when we complain to them about it, they employ a lawyer and go

to Court and win the case.


There are animals and fish at places where they make

homes. We are not fish. We like to live like other people live.

We make this complaint because we are very poor now. The time

will come when we will not have anything left. The money and

everything else in this country will be the property of the white

man, and our people will have nothing. We meet here tonight for

the purpose for you to write to the chief at Washington and to let

them know our complaint. We also ask him to return our creeks and 

the hunting grounds that white people have taken away from us.


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Of course we are not as powerful as white people. We have no

soldiers. We have no strength. We ask the big chief at Washing-

ton as children ask their fathers. The missionaries and teaches

tell us that no one but God made the people. We know that the

same God made us. And the God placed us here. White people are

smart; our people are not as smart as white people. They have a

very fine name; they call them- selves white people. Just like the

sun shining on this earth, They are powerful. They have the

power. They have men of wars. It is not right for such power-

ful people as you are to take away from poor people like we are,

our creeks and hunting grounds. Among our people we have chiefs.

We have nice people, that is why I think the white people are

our chiefs.


Long time ago our fathers used to tell children who was the

chief and what happened tong time ago and that is why we know

how the chiefs are made and what our ancestors used to do.

Present are Johnson, Koogh-see, and another young man who are

chiefs, and also old man by name of Shoo-we-Kah. We do not

ask the whole of Alaska. We simply ask the President to give

us a ground where we can raise vegetables and places where we can

hunt and prepare fish. We do not want all these things we ask

for by force. We have eyes, and we have sense. We see you

are powerful. We do not want to be angry with you. We want to be

friends with you. We simply wish you to give us all these things.

What I am saying to you now are the words of our people of a great

many different villages, Taku, Sitka, Chilkat, and other places.

We get married; take wives from one village to the other, and what

I am saying to you now are the words of our Thlingit.


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Chief Johnson (Yash-noosh) from Juneau, Chief of the Takou 



What Kah-du-shan

has said he told you the truth. We have not said anything to you for

long time, for many years. We have not said anything to you

since Russians lived in this country. All the people would like

to say something to the governor. We are perfectly willing to

give this country Alaska to you. We know this is our country.

How long we have been living here we do not know; very tong time.

I do not know whether the lawmaking people living at Washington

get any pay--the man who teach the people to be good. We do not

know anything about the United States law, the law that the Gov-

ernor knows. Things that I am saying now did not used to happen

in olden days. The government now sells land. Our people we

have simple patches of ground raising vegetables and place where

our people go hunting; creeks where they fish, we want you to give

them back to us. We never be any trouble with the white people

of America. We love you as children love their parents. Now

we know that the United States have a great deal of trouble with

Indians in the states about the land. We never had trouble

with you. We are perfectly willing that you should have Alaska.

We did not know that the Russians sold this country; of course we

know it now. When the American soldiers came to this country

that was the first time that we heard that this country was sold by

the Russians. The Indians in the States made great deal of

trouble for you about the land.. We never make any trouble. We

love you. We love you as our friends. The Thlingit are getting

poor because their ground is taken away from them. We ask you to

give to the Thlingit the places that brought us food. If you


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refuse to do that then our people will starve. All these people

came here for the purpose to tell you what they want so you can

tell the chief in Washington. We have not been talking to you for

long time, but now we are compelled to talk to you because white

are taking all those places away from us. Places where

we used to make food. I like to say more but I would not say

any thing now as several people present who would like to

talk to you.


Chief Koogh-see fom Hoonah: -


We would like to ask Governor

question, Why the people get arrested and tried in Court?


Governor Brady: For violating the laws that we have on our



[Chief Koogh-see fom Hoonah:]

Yes, I heard that our people get arrested and tried in Court

because they broke law. I was not quite sure, that is why I

asked the question. It is true what Kah-du-shan has said; we

believe that Alaska belongs us. In all his country long time

ago before we ever saw white men, our fathers and grandfather

told us we owned if. In those days we had our own customs. We

believed and done things our way in those days, but lately mission-

aries came here and commenced to tell us different. They tell

us that everything that is on this earth, wood, water and every

thing else, is created by God. The trees grow for the purpose

that we can make use of them and make houses of. And different

animals were created by God for purpose of giving us clothing and

food. Now deers is made for purpose to eat; bears and other

animals also. Now you see up to the present time blankets are

made out of martin skins. That is the kind of blankets we used


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to have long time ago out of links, fox, and bear. God made the

rivers for the purpose that we drink the water and he also made

fish for to go in the river. We have been living here a long

time. Our ancestors used to live here and had possession of

different creeks and different places. Since white

men came to this country, things have changed. They take these

things away from us for the purpose of enriching themselves.

There are lots of things here which white men can

make money out of.  There is lots of gold in this country.  We do not

know anything about mining. White men can mine. We do not want

them to interfere with us. We make our living by trapping and

fishing and hunting, and white men take all these places away from

us; they constantly interfere with us.


Now not very far from the place where I live is Lituya Bay,

where our people, our ancestors, used to go hunting for sea otters

and hair seals. Now that place is taken away from us. Great

many schooners going there. White people are there now. These

white men, when they make camp, they make lots of smoke. That

scares animals, sea otters especially. That ground is very good

for sea otter hunting. We went up there, 20 or 30 canoes and

hunted around all summer and did not get any. The smoke scares

the animals away. And when we talk to those white men, they say

that country does not belong to us, belongs to Washington. We

have nothing to do with that ground.


All our people believe that Alaska is our country. I have

been down to Seattle, and Tacoma. I have seen very nice towns.

I have seen how white men live, and I like it very much. Now

supposing I came back here and told my people, the leading men such


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as Kah-du-shan. to go down to Seattle and Tacoma. I have seen

white men raising at those towns all kinds of fruit and vegetables.

Suppose I tell these people to go with me on certain days to burn

certain ground and next day same thing and third day same

thing and destroy all these things, don't you suppose the white

people would say something to us if we destroyed all these grounds

by fire and get on places where white people goats and other

animals and commenced to shoot them. That is why I ask you,

Governor, to return all these things which white men took away

from us. Creeks, for instance, where we make dry fish, places

where we trap. We make our living altogether by trapping and

hunting, and I ask you to give all these places back. And if

white men should like to take possession of any of these places,

we should like to ask you to tell them to not take them for nothing

but to pay for them.


Chief Kah-ea-tchiss, from Hoonah: -


Ever since I have been a

little boy, I have heard of the white people. I heard that the

Russians lived in Sitka. Thingilt by the name of Lin-ko-lich

came over to our place and told us all about it. Our people have a

language of our own, and this Lin-ko-lich acted as interpreter.

This Lin-ko-lich told us that the white people came here it would

be much better for us. We have found out as last. We know how

it is now. We believe now Lin-ko-lich every thing he said. He

said there will be no fort or blockade. The Thlingit are not

going to kill any white people. They are going to be friendly

with them.


Our ancestors used to deal in furs. They had blankets made


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out of different furs. We are different from them. We dress

different. Now our fathers told us where they used to go and hunt

the sea otter. This man who spoke before me said the truth.

They used to go to a. place called Lituya Bay. Used to get lots

of the otter there for making clothes and blankets. I have got

a paper here that I would like the governor to see and also a

medal that my ancestors got from the Russians. (Document in

Russian language, dated July 23, 1840. Small silver medal.)


I feel very bad now the way the while men treat us. I would

like you to tell white people to pay us for this ground. When a

man goes in a store and buys different things, he pays for them.

He does not take those things for nothing when he leaves the

store. That is why I should like you to tell your people to

do the same thing to us. When we tell the white people to pay

for this ground they refuse to make any payment for the ground and

say this land belongs to Washington, we have nothing to do with it.


Now in early days we used to kill lots of sea otter at Lituya

Bay; now we kill but very few. The white people makes lots

of smoke, and smoke drives sea otter away from those grounds. Lots

of schooners are going to that bay and different boats. The sea

otter are scared and keep away from those grounds. We would like

the white people to pay us a little for going into that bay.


Chief Shoo-we-Kah, from Juneau:-


Much has been said by the

white chiefs to our people, but nothing has been accomplished, and

now we want to talk good so it will have some weight to do some

good. In the beginning of this place (Juneau) I was here all

by myself. Only one house and I was living in that house. Dick


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Harris is here, and Joe Juneau is another who knew me at that

time. After that I went over to Silka, and on arrival there

the head man at the town of Silka called me over to his house.

That chief gave me a. paper which I have in my pocket. (Letter

of recommendation given by Mr. Bean, dated 1880) I give you that

for purpose that you would not think I was not telling truth.

He said then that white people will come to your place and that

"I want you to take good care of them. White people will do the

same thing to you. They will look after you. Not only yourself

but all your friends." Right there on the beach in front of the

town now I had a garden, and on that clear place white people

camped. Now you have heard to-day the complaints of several of

our people. They claimed that the white people imposed upon them

and I would like to ask you to-day something to help us. Here

in the basin (near Juneau) I discovered a fine rock and made a

mark on that rock and afterwards took white people there and show-

ed them the place. When I was doing that I thought white people

would take good care of us, to look after us and especially take good

care of me when I got old. But white men did not do as I expect-

ed. Now with us Thlingit, when a chief want to pay a certain

man a piece of ground, he says, you take this ground and take

possession of it. White men do not do that. We are at a loss

to know what to do. Now I ask you to appoint a certain man

at a certain village, here or at Taku, or any other place, and that

he must took after that village. I know that down below ( The

States ) that a man possessed a certain property and another man

comes along , and wants that properly, he pays for it. We built

this house and paid money for it. We paid for everything in


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this house, and take good care of this house. And in different

villages here our people have property just like this house, and

I would ask you to take good care of it and see that no one inter-

feres with it. All I ask you is to take good care of us. Now

we do not know what we are to do as we are like a certain an in

a canoe. The canoe rocks; we do not know what will become of



One white man by name of Tom made good deal of trouble for me

and there is certain creek here that I claim and he camped there

and took possession of it; cut trees down and does not pay me

any thing.


Our people have dogs. We keep them for hunting purposes.

I have dogs also and white men kill Dogs. Those dogs are worth

about $20. That is what miners going into Yukon pay. I have

taken words of chief at Sitka / here is the paper which you saw.

I was the first one who made friends with the white men here. Now I

feel very bad because white men took possession of my property

and that is not the way to do. (Refers here to creek

near Basin back of Juneau) I cannot fish there. Of course the

white man chop wood there, and I want the white man to pay for that

property.  I have been in the dark.  Very dark now.  Give me

light, that is what I ask of you now, so that I can see.  White

men came here promiscuously.  I never stopped white men coming

in this place.  Lots of timber here; I never stopped them from

cutting timber.  Every thing I possess I give to the white

people, now I am an old man and have not any thing left.


Some of my people do not behave themselves, especially on

Christmas and will get to fighting. They get clubs and slicks


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and strike each other with clubs and some strike with knives.

I want that to be stopped. Long time ago when I was a little boy

white man found this country by name Mr. Daub. This white man

by name of Daub, he made a chief here of one of my ancestors.

Now I have taken his place and got his name. Whenever that

steamer came here, our people would put good dress on, and especially

our chief would put nice things on, a cap and good clothes and

come on board that steamer. I like you to appoint some chief

here to represent all our people. I ask you to help me and do

what I request you to do to appoint some chief here.


I was policeman at one time and was discharge without receiv-

ing any pay. That is why none of my friends and relatives are

policemen now. I worked very hard. You talk lots; white people

promise much but do not derive any benefit from it. I want to

ask all the white men present here to tell me what you are going

to do in the future and how you are going to keep us.


Chief Ah-na-tlash, from Taku:-


I have lived a good many 

years.  You see I am old man now.  Russians used to be here.

Russians used to be in Sitka, They never used to treat Thingit

like they are treated now. They did not do anything to the

ground like the white people do now. White people take the

ground away from us. When Vice President was here I went to him

and complained to him and told him how the Thlingit are treated

here.  I asked Vice President also to give the same town what the

President had. When we have trouble with the white people about

the ground they get very angry and want to fight us. Now we want

you, Governor, to put a stop to that. Now salmon runs up the

Taku river and this salmon our people get for food. Now white


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people come early in the spring there before the ice breaks to

catch fish there. There is no store there, and Taku people

make their living by catching salmon. If I was living at Taku

now, I think I would starve because on the account of salmon.

The white men here all our ground to other white people and

have a great deal of trouble about it. There are lots of good

places below; we do not want those kind of white people here.

We do not them to come up here and interfere with us.

When I was young I used to go very often. I was well off then

and did not have so much trouble as I have now. Now I am old

and have a good deal of trouble with white people and have not

so much money as I had then. We have a great deal of trouble

about the creeks and ground, and they have a great deal of trouble

tnd [and] I ask you to put a stop to it. Also that another Thlingit

from Taku if he was here would say the same thing to you. I am

very glad indeed to be present here and talk with you. I know

most of the Tlilingits here have something to say to you.


Charley, of Juneau:-


I would like to say a few words to you

but would like to know first what these people are talking about.

I was present and heard some man talking but in the beginning

did not know what Indians wanted here and did not know what they

were talking about.


Mr. Grygta: Chief Johnson asked us personally to be present

at a meeting to hear about complaints of the Thlingit and hear

what they all had to say.


Charley: Our people have a great deal of trouble now,

especially on the other side. [Douglas Island). The company


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there have a village where the people live and when they want the

ground they simply move us from one place to another. Now our

people had several creeks around where they used to prepare food

for the winter. Now all the creaks are claimed by the com-

pany (Treadwell Gold Mining Company)2 Of course our people

feel very bad the way the white men act. They never tell us what

they are going to do. White men go and do without notifying

us or tell us what to do and they put notices on the premises.

And if you make a complaint and go into court, we are notified that

it is too late now, that the paper is recorded and nothing can

be done. That is why all our people feel very bad, and I am

afraid we will have some trouble about it by and by. Of course

you have heard a great deal from people here about the complaints

and troubles; about the customs and different things and I ask you

to help us to make us feel good and try to do something for us

so that we can be better and feel better. Of course we do not

know what we are going to do but would like to hear from you.

Jack Williams, of Juneau, talks with the help of Fred Moore

as interpreter:-


The reason why I want Fred to translate my talk

to the governor is that I want my people to hear what I have to

say. It is wanted by the town that our people should make a

complaint before you. We have the same flesh as those Indians

living down below in the States and we know that the Government

of the United States has provided food, clothing, houses for them

in every year. And sometimes the rail road company want

to build their toad through the land of the natives and the owners make

agreement with the natives that they have free travel if they give


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land to the company. So that the owners give free rides. It is

quite a distance away from our people to those people down in the

States. The places which we are living in now we hear the white

people call it the territory of Alaska, and those people living

down in the states, the white people call it the States. We

are not like those people. They are supported by the Government

of the United States and this is the first opportunity we have

had to make our complaints before the government of our needs.

When we were small our fathers and uncles used to tell us about the

great chiefs and high class of people and we used to believe them;

and since we became old we find it out the difference between

our chiefs and the white people's chiefs. We know which ones

have the power. We know that Alaska was purchased by the American

people from the Russians, and now days the white people has come up

here to settle among our villages. When these white people first

came around our villages we were glad to see them. We knew they

would give us some work to do. They employed us for a short

time then all at once we find out that great many white people

rushed here and took our work, and we did not know which way to

turn to give us employment. And when we could not find any

thing to do we go out hunting after bear; fish for halibut. Then

also these white people took it away from us, these our hunting

grounds. We are now bringing before you our condition and we

would submit to you for we do not know which way to turn. We

would like to know from the Government what we should do for our

living, and how we are going to get it. We sometimes think that

the best thing that the Government can do for us is select two


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places where we could make our homes as the people do at Port

Chester near Metlakahtla [Metlakatla]. Sometimes I go down to Seattle and

I always feel proud when I stop at Port Chester to see those

people away from trouble. The white people does not bother

them, and they have nice homes. I hear what the other people

was saying in their complaints before the Governor this even-

ing. We have seen how the white people have treated our people

sitting here. So it comes in my mind how these people become

civil people, those living down in Port Chester with Mr. Duncan.

So we think that if the government should do with us the same as

with the people down at Port Chester, give us two places where we

could live by ourselves and have our property and homes where the

white people could not bother us.


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14TH, 1898.


I am very glad that you are thinking, but what I have heard

here to-night it is in my mind to say that there is trouble ahead

for them if they entertain such notions as they have expressed

here. I am glad to know they are thinking and am sorry that is

has not begun several years ago. Many expressions have been

given here if entertained are bound to wind up in trouble to



When the United States bought this country of the Russians

they paid $7,200,000. They made a law or treaty — a great law —

between the United States and Russia. I will only read one

section so that you can hear what they had to say about the

people in the Territory. (Section of the treaty read).

It was agreed between the United Stares and Russia that the

former should accept the uncivilized tribes, but the Russians

who wanted to live here should be under the protection of the

United States. The uncivilized tribes shall be subject to land

laws and regulations as the United States may choose to adopt

from time to time for the aborigines. The Russian people regarded

the Thlingit as savages, as sort of wild men who could not be

trusted. (Diagram showing Sitka blockaded to prevent attacks

of the Thlingits). Some of those pieces and spikes are there yet

so that the Thlingits could not climb over the blockade. I have

some as curisoties. Ask them if I am not telling the truth.

When an Indian went there with furs, they had a little hole in the

fence and the Indian would stick the furs through it. Now we


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see the condition of these people when the United States bought

this country. They did not consider them as civilized people;

not as people who could read and write and could not do anything.

Now the United States has treated them kindly and proposes to treat

them well.


The Russians had some reason to be afraid of them. They

killed all but two one time at Sitka. The Russians were afraid

of them. The Thlingit have not always been kind and loving and

good. They have been bad just like the whites have been bad.

It is nearly twenty one years since I came to Alaska and it was

then that I saw the Thlingit for the first time. Some of these

boys here to-night were babies then – little bits of fellows. If

I had me picture of old Sitka to show you the houses and the

stockade you could see the difference of the Thlingit then and

now. The Indians had very few cabins and clothes. They had

very few shoes and blankets. It was very seldom that they had a

pair of shoes. They were buying molasses then. They sold

their furs for molasses. Nearly every week in Sitka the first

year I was there there was a murder. There was one Chief, a

brother of Koogh-see who went across to the island and got into a

fight with one Indian, who bit one check off, and another fellow

took a spade and chopped him on the head.


Now to-day you go to Sitka and see how those people are living and

what kind of houses they have; see how they look and

behave. Are they the same kind of people? There is $100 in that

ranch now for every 50 cents when I came there. And I would say

that if some of those people were here tonight they would not talk

like these people here. I know that the Thlingit are better off


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today than they ever were before in their lives. I know that

Yash-noosh there, has handled more money and has been more of a

man than any of his uncles.


Now take 50 years ago — 40 years ago —could his uncle have

gone down to Fort Simpson without a fight? Now the United

States after it bought Alaska did not pass any laws for a number

of years. They simply sent soldiers here. I often think a

wrong was done to the Thlingit. It was not until 1854 that the

United States made a civil law for Alaska but it was very careful

in that law to say that any lands occupied by natives or claimed

by them should not be disturbed in their possession.

Now it is my duty; it is the duty of every government official

to see that that law is obeyed. But I am afraid that the

Thlingit are entertaining wrong notions of how much land they own.

Right here they need a little instruction. Koogh-see he has been

down below and has seen fruit and vegetables growing. He said

what would the white people say if the Indians would come down

there and burn the ground and kill the white people’s goats.

Now Koogh-see is not thinking rightly. He is not thinking

correctly. Those places that he saw and admired so much is the

result of a great deal of work. God did not make the fields

and did not make all the roads, but he made the men, and men had

to do all the labor. Now if any Tilingit in this country goes

and does like wise / and by his labor makes fence, improves ground

and builds a house, it is the duty of every official to see that

he is undisturbed.


Now it is a different thing if there is a stream here and the


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ground around it. The Indian cannot claim the whole district.

(Diagram showing creek and district ). The government does not

for a moment recognize all that ground his. The government so

far has sold very little ground in Alaska. The laws remain yet

to be made. We have a mining law that has been in use in Alaska

and anybody can buy an placer or quartz mine. Any body can

buy a mine. But the law of other kinds of land is not in force

yet. And that is why it is important that we have an understand-

ing with the Thlingit. The question is, Do you wish to be put

on an island and not abandon your old customs? Do you wish to

be citizens of the United Slates and have their protection? It is

for you to say. Shall we, for instance, take a large island

like Admiralty island (Draws map of island on Board). Shall

we take the different tribes and place them on the island and let

them live by themselves and not be disturbed and have agents over

them to keep them straight? Or do you wish to obey the white

men's laws; have all the privileges that he has. Which do you 



It says in this law that the uncivilized natives will be under

the laws of the uncivilized tribes in this country. The laws

that will be passed by Congress will depend very much what Mr.

Grygla, myself and others will recommend. This is plain talk

and I hope they have not misunderstood me. I have made them a

study and know that the best way is to talk plain. I am satis-

fied that wrongs have been done by fishermen in canneries by dam-

ing up streams, but we could not get vessels to go around to

them. They will be protected as far as the fish is concerned.


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So far as what Koogh-see says, one of his ancestors sold all

that Lituya Bay country to the King of France and by the bargain

his own ancestors made he realty has no right to it. Now about

that matter of the sea otter around the coast. The sea otter

is run out for the reason that the Thlingit never spare them.

They never hunt in such a way as to save the young.

In your country I was very glad to see the Hoonas. They

are very nice, clean race of people. I was up there twenty years

ago with Glan-ole. His chief and I know they are better off

many times over today than then. One of the great things that

has helped them is that missionaries have gone amongst them and

taught them things. But as a people they have not had any pride

for they have allowed their girls to be bought by every white

man that has gone up there. It is very difficult for nice,

healthy young men to get a good healthy wife. Lots of these

young men have to take women for wives who have been living

with white men and are diseased, and if they have children, they are

diseased. Such men as Yash-noosh and other chiefs are to blame.

I know that from Sitka 50 girls have come over here and died here.

Many of their parents came with them and took them around to

the miners and tried to sell them. Now if they continue this thing

they are doomed as a race. These are things to think about that

concern yourselves most intimately.

Mr. Waldsley writes me that he must have protection down here.

He says the Indians persist in getting drunk and I will now have

to ship in Chinamen to do the work at Clawala. How much has he

spent, money going out to the Thlingit? He spends from $12,000


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to $14,000 each year. Those Thlingit have got just as good

brain as the Chinamen. They know how to do the work. But they

insist on gelling drank. He will have a pile of fish and they

will spoil because the Thlingit are drunk. Mr. Spoon tells me

he has the same trouble. He will have to employ Chinamen next

year. Now I do not want the Thlingit to tell me they are poor

and cannot earn a. living in this country. Every Thlingit can earn

a living like I can.

I used to keep store in Sitka. When I started in Ho-ka

sold me twenty-one cords of wood. I paid $2.25 per cord in

trade. The price of flour at that time was $2.50 a bag. The

price of sugar was 20 cents a lb. The price of a can of milk

was 40 cents, I am satisfied that for the last eight or ten

years the price of the same kind of wood has not been less than

$5 a cord. Today it is $6. You can get the same kind of flour

for $1.40 a bag; you can get 16 lbs. of sugar for $1, and every-

thing else is the same way. And yet it is harder to buy cord

wood today than twenty years ago. These are facts. I am not

guessing at any thing. These are facts. It will not do for any

of these men to talk to me as they have. They must think I am

a fool.


Now I tell them that I am glad they are thinking, but they

must be careful to think on what is right, and what is accurate

and true. Now I propose to help them all I can. They will get

their rights, and if any appropriates a piece of land, I will see

that he holds it. If they want to become citizens of the United

States then I will advocate that. If they do not want that and


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want to be pat off on some island by themselves I will do that.

But the time has come; it is now the turning point in their lives

as a people; they will have to think. I would like to have a

longer time to talk. I have not said near what 1 had in mind

to say to them but they can see that I am in earnest. I am not

fooling with them; I am telling them the truth. The Land

Commissioner has decided that the Indian can take up a quartz

claim, record it and hold it. I thanked him for his decision,

and when I was in Washington I told him that I thought that was

the way to decide. There are many other things that I had in

mind but will stop now.

(Interpreted to the Thlingit by Fred Moore.)


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When I first came to Alaska eight years ago and went to Sitka,

Governor Brady introduced me to the Chief of the Thlingit and took

me down to the Indian village to show me how they were progress-

ing and improving. Now this was done for the purpose so that

when I returned to Washington I could impress on the minds of the

Senators and law makers of the United States that the Thlingit

should not be confused with the Indians of the Western States.

Governor Brady always considered the Thlingit the equal of the

white man if they were educated and cared for. That is if they

wanted to be educated and cared for.


Now if it is your intention to class yourselves with the

Western States Indian it is all right, but I think it is a dis-

honor to you and against your own interests. We think the

Thlingit almost equal to the white men, but if you do not want

to be educated, we cannot help you.


I was astonished and surprised when I returned to Alaska

this year and see what the Thlingit have accomplished in eight

year's time. When I first saw them their houses were like the

tents of white men just coming to locate a city and when I see them now

they have houses like the white men have after being in a city

ten years. I was surprised when Governor Brady showed me how

they improved and advanced when they tried. Now if you want

to lake advantage and advance yourselves, all the officials and

missionaries are willing to help you. I only add what the

Governor told you to think for yourselves but in the right way.


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Now I as the official agent am sent by the government to look

after several matters, and the governor kindly assists me to see

to it as the head of the Government for Alaska, that we have the

evidence to report to Washington on this question.

You must decide yourselves whether you are to be classed

as aborigines like the wild men of the West, but do not ask us

afterwards what we should do. You must think for yourselves and

decide whether you want to be American citizens or want to live

in your old customs. You must conclude on that. You should

take advantage while the Governor is in Juneau and decide what to

do and select another night and ask for the kindness of his

presence and advise them, for he is going away and will not

have another chance for a month or two to talk with you.

Governor Brady: It is quite possible that the Government

will order me to Washington. If I go it will be soon after New Year.

(Interpreted to Thlingit by Fred Moore, Native.)